Saturday, March 08, 2014

GMO Salmon will not be labeled

Stores should be free either to carry the new GMO salmon or not once it is approved, if it is approved. I have a feeling though that many of these chains have decided not to carry the GMO salmon because the FDA would not permit them to label the Ge salmon in order to differentiate it from the nonge variety. What is the logic that makes the FDA take this position is baffling. It is as if they are saying that the consumer has no right to know what he/she is buying when in fact perfect knowledge is a corner stone of our economic system.

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The two largest grocery stores in the United States, Kroger and Safeway, have promised to not sell GMO salmon. Over 9,000 stores nationwide have now committed to being free of the controversial fish.

Kroger, the US's leading grocery chain with 2,424 stores, informed Friends of the Earth of its decision in an email from Keith Dailey, director of media relations at Kroger.
"Should genetically engineered salmon be approved, Kroger has no intention of sourcing it", Dailey wrote.

Safeway, the number two conventional grocer with 1,406 stores, confirmed their position in an email to Friends of the Earth last week and said they plan to post their statement online:
"Should GE salmon come to market, we are not considering nor do we have any plans to carry GE salmon. The seafood products we offer will continue to be selected consistent with our Responsible Seafood Purchasing Policy, Responsible Sourcing Commitment and our partnership with FishWise."

Campaigners welcome the move
Dana Perls, Food and technology policy campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said: "By making commitments to not sell genetically engineered salmon, Kroger and Safeway have joined the large number of grocery chains, from Trader Joe's to Target, that have wisely chosen to listen to the majority of consumers who do not want to eat genetically engineered fish"

"Now Costco, Walmart, Albertsons and other retailers need to catch up and provide their customers with what they want: natural, sustainable seafood that isn't genetically engineered in a lab."

Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, said: "Genetically engineered salmon are bad for the consumer, bad for the environment, and bad for our native salmon. We call on all fish retailers to reject this dangerous product that consumers don't want."

The total number of companies committed to not sell genetically engineered salmon now stands at more than 60 retailers, including Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Aldi, H-E-B, Meijer, Hy-Vee, Marsh, Giant Eagle, and now Safeway and Kroger, representing more than 9,000 grocery stores across the country.

FDA: GMO fish, animals may not be labeled
Nearly 2 million people have written to the FDA opposing the approval of genetically the engineered salmon, in response to Aqua Bounty's revised draft environmental assessment in 2013. Despite this outcry, the FDA is still considering approving GE salmon.

It has also said it will probably not be labeled, so consumers will have no way of knowing if the fish they are feeding their families is genetically engineered.

15 comments:

Nick Sollogub said...

The government has always managed information in order to keep people in the dark. We have seen this through Kennedy's assassination and we are seeing it through GMO salmon. It is not surprising at all and it is horrifying because we know that the government is only concerned with the bottom line and that is their profit. So it is great that companies are making a stand and not supplying GE fish, but we need to question the other areas that the government is opting to make a profit as opposed to educate or protect its citizens. I don't know much about genetically modified fish so I can not speak about its pro's and con's but I do know that people have the right to know what they are buying and what they are eating.

Leah DeEgidio said...

I really cannot comment on the differences between natural and genetically modified fish because I don't know much about the process or the product. However, it is clear that Americans are serious about keeping GMO salmon out of their neighborhood groceries. Who can really blame them? If someone told me to pick out a fish for dinner and I couldn't differentiate between one pulled from the environment and one created in a lab I would extremely concerned. I think the amount of companies refusing to stock their fish markets with this salmon is remarkable. If the FDA decides to approve this fish, why can't they just label it. All consumers want to know is exactly what they are buying.

Anonymous said...

Dillon Addonizio

While I respect these companies caring about the consumer I must admit they are either ill informed or reluctant to address real issues. Without a doubt the consumer should know the potential harm of the food they buy. With that being said GE labels are the last thing needed in the interest of the consumers health. To date there is no science based evidence suggesting that genetically modified foods are harmful. We have been engineering food in a less direct way for decades. GMO's could be altered in such a way to not require pesticides and other chemicals we eat each day. This is anything but a problem. What we should focus on labeling is the chemicals used in the ingredients of some food as well as the chemicals sprayed on during any part of production. Labeling is a good thing but we need to choose our battles and concerns more wisely.

Apoorva said...

GMO products should be banned in total. GMO Salmon is jut an example of the foods that are told be stopped selling by the markets. However, there are other animals and vegetables that also need the attention to be stopped from hitting the shelves. I am glad that the 60 chains that have taken the step to agree to stop selling. have; this calls for an even bigger initiative in the whole GMO movement. Consumers should not be subjugated to market competition because we just want to have nice salmon and not a genetically modified product that could harm our physiological system. The government must make people more aware of the GMO products as many people would not even know what GMO means. Labeling is very good thing as customers have the right to know what they are buying and therefore putting in their mouth.
Apoorva Muthukumar

Anonymous said...

I think that it's really scary that the government is not willing to let civilians in America know what they are eating. I think that people should have the right to know what is in their food, and the right to have the choice of what they want to eat. The only test to see if the average consumer will actually want to eat GMO foods is to have them be properly labeled, and odds are that if GMOs were properly labeled, that the average consumer would not want to buy the product. Maybe that is the reason why the industry does not want them to be labeled. They want to be invisible among the rest of the food industry, so that they can sell their product worry-free. That is not fair to consumers in America, and it is not right to have food that is genetically modified basically forced upon the American population. If you don't want to eat it, you should be able to have a choice about that.

Leanna Molnar

Cynthia Romero said...

I am a strong believer that we should leave things as they naturally are and if they are going to be modified, we have a right to know and make our own decisions. It is so ridiculous that this is how we are living now. Profit for the government and these awful corporations and not taking us seriously or taking us into consideration. If my money is going somewhere, I WANT to know to WHO and WHERE and WHY. Same, if food is going into my body, I WANT to know WHAT IT IS. So simple.

Gina May said...

I am all for science. If they want to go ahead and experiment with salmon in the lab, then so be it. We don’t have the right to stop them from experimenting and trying new things, after all that is how most of our technological advances have been made in the past. However, we do have the right and we should always have the right to the truth—the lab results. And this all comes down to the issue of labeling. If enough modifications are made and enough studies are done to prove that it is in fact safe to eat genetically modified salmon, then I say why not allow grocery stores to carry it. But it should go without saying that that salmon should still be labeled as GMO regardless of the safety results. We as consumers have and should always have the right of knowing what we are putting inside of our bodies. If GMOs are labeled then at least the consumer has the choice of for example, whether to buy the GMO salmon or the non-GMO salmon. And in my opinion it seems like fairly simple favor to ask— Just label our food! I am not asking for gmo’s to be banned; that is not necessary. All I am saying is that if the salmon experimented in the lab is going to be sold in our local grocery stores, than we should have the right to know. Obviously though with clear labels people will have more of an incentive to buy the non gmo food which is what huge corporations such as Monsanto fear the most. Unfortunately though I think they are the ones who hold most of the power and I believe that is the scariest part of it all. The gmo vendor should not be the one funding the gmo scientist.

Dylan Hirsch said...

Information can be powerful; the government would rather suppress the truth behind the natural products we produce rather then mandate these producers that disclose sensitive information. There are unknown harms with consuming GMO salmon, and the consumer should know this information before buying any product that they will consume. It shows a larger problem of the reluctancy the government has toward the environmental movement. Industry continues to prosper on the basis of unsustainability, only to profit those who have privatized a natural resource. The modern belief system must change in order for society to continue to prosper of these natural resources in the future.

-Dylan Hirsch

Melis Temelli said...

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) keep on being a serious matter of controversy among people, especially in terms of food consumption. People naturally think that if the genetics of something they consume (with their children) as food is modified, then it will no more be the food they used to consume, because their belief in positive science is not very high due to the fact that scientists have the potentials to deceive people when it comes to profit-making, as has been the case for pharmacy sector and organic products sector recently. The steps taken to prevent sales of GMO Salmon in the U.S. is understandable from this point of view. However, it is also a fact that the resources of the world is scarce and global population is growing at speed, making it impossible to meet all the modern needs of people. So it is up to co-operation of producers, scientists and environmental activists to decide upon the issue to inform the people in the right way. The fact that GMO foods, including GMO Salmon, will not be shown as GMO foods makes people afraid, this can be changed through legislation in time. In addition, scientific research on such products should be made more transparent for public and media, so that people will have a wider perception of what they are expected to consume.

Anonymous said...

Genetically Modified Organisms should be introduced into the market, however consumers should be able to make a choice as to whether or not they want a natural product or a GMO. Products need to be properly labelled, more studies need to be done on the effects of GMOs on humans, and information on such needs to be readily available to the public. GMOs have become a hot topic in politics and science. As the world's population increases and we continue to degrade the world it is imperative that we find a way to continue to produce enough food to maintain the population. There will be a point where we will be incapable of raising enough crops and animals to fufill the current demand. Genetically Modified Organisms may eventually be our only option.
-Haylei P.

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